Family Farming Operations Coming Under Fire

By Roger Haldenby
Plains Cotton Growers

Many farmers are finding themselves faced with a very real and substantial quandary as they learn that changes in USDA rules bring changes to eligibility of their family farming operation for participation in government programs.

One such farmer says, “My family has operated a cotton farming operation for several generations. Since 1973 – 35 crops and we’ve operated as a corporation. My parents set up their farming operation as a corporation for the same reasons most individuals do; Financial purposes, taxes, liability, organization and as a means to transfer the rewards of their hard work, in some pretty rough times, to the next generation and the next. It’s a family farm – nothing more.”

He went on to say, “(Last) week we learned that our farming operation of just over 1,800 acres would lose 75% of its eligibility for government payments simply because it is a corporation.”

This farmer’s sister says, “I’m the oldest daughter of a cotton-farm family. My parents, brothers, sister and I worked hard to develop a profitable farming business through some very difficult times. To ensure that their hard work was not in vain, my parents set up a farm corporation in 1972 to preserve the family business. It was the intent of my parents that all family members share equally, just as we did while working. It’s my understanding that proposed changes to the 2008 Farm Bill will undermine my parents and family’s efforts of the past 37 years and their intention that the family farm remain just that – a family farm.”

This family and others need your help. There is an opportunity for you to make comment and request that the United States Secretary of Agriculture review and revise the proposed rules of payment eligibility.

There is a form letter requesting these rules be reviewed and corrected. It’s hosted by Plains Cotton Growers and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

Go to: www.plainscotton.org. Scroll down to “USDA Proposed Rule on Payment Limits,” click on the link, fill out the letter and you’re done. In the opening to the letter you’ll have the opportunity to write a few words about yourself and your involvement or connection with agriculture.

These rules that were proposed in the Federal Register by the outgoing Bush Administration exceed the intent of Congress. The original comment period closed January 28 but has been reopened and extended. While the interim rule became effective December 23, 2008, the extension will allow comments received by April 6, 2009, to be considered. Unless the new Secretary of Agriculture takes action to review and correct these rules, there could be broad, adverse impacts on many family farming operations.

We strongly encourage you to log on and let your opinion be known.

Leave a Reply

Planting Stories
Cotton Production

Cotton Grower Acreage Survey: Growers Dialing Back Acres in 2015

January 5, 2015

The 2015 Cotton Grower Acreage Survey suggests cotton farmers could reduce cotton plantings by more than 10 percent this year.

Planting

2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide Available Online

December 16, 2014

The 2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide is now available online.

Planting

2014 Mississippi Small Plot Trial Data Now Available

December 15, 2014

Data from the 2014 Mississippi Small Plot Cotton Official Variety Trial is now available through Mississippi State University.

Planting

AgriLife Extension’s On-Farm Cotton Variety Trial Data Available

November 26, 2014

The annual Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation trial results for the South, East and Central Regions of Texas are now available from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Cotton Production

Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

June 2, 2014

The June 1 USDA Crop Progress report shows that Southwestern states made substantial progress in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to much-needed moisture.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

Based on the May 18 USDA Crop Progress report, overall cotton planting stayed on track with the five-year average for this date, with 46 percent of the U.S. now in the ground. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bollgard II XtendFlex Cotton Poised for Limited Introduction

January 21, 2015

A limited introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton varieties is planned for the 2015 planting season through Deltapine and select licensees.

Product News

USDA Deregulates Dicamba-Tolerant Technologies for Cotton and Soybeans

January 16, 2015

The USDA has announced its decision to deregulate Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans – Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant trait technologies for those crops.

Product News

Bayer CropScience Anticipates Registration for New Cotton and Peanut Insecticide

January 15, 2015

Bayer CropScience anticipates the registration of Velum Total, the company’s newest insecticide/nematicide, for the 2015 cotton and peanut season in the Southeast.

Product News

New FiberMax and Stoneville Varieties for 2015 Feature GLT Technology

January 14, 2015

Bayer CropScience has announced four new FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties for the 2015 season.

Product News

PhytoGen Introduces 2015 Cotton Varieties

January 13, 2015

PhytoGen’s cottonseed portfolio for 2015 includes proven high yielding varieties, as well as new varieties featuring advanced insect, nematode and disease technologies.

Product News

Monsanto and FMC Renew and Broaden Crop Protection Agreement

January 8, 2015

Monsanto and FMC have agreed to extend and broaden their current relationship to help benefit cotton, corn and soybean growers through Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions.

Product News

Deltapine Announces Class of 15 Cotton Varieties

December 16, 2014

Deltapine has announced two new high-yielding cotton varieties for its Class of 15, with several potential varieties awaiting regulatory approvals of the Bollgard II XtendFlex technologies.

Precision Technology

NORAC Hybrid Mode Receives U.S. and European Patent Approval

December 8, 2014

NORAC Systems International Inc.’s Hybrid Mode in-crop spraying feature has received patent approval in the U.S. and Europe.

Latest News
Cotton Production

Cotton Grower Acreage Survey: Growers Dialing Back Acres in 2015

January 5, 2015

The 2015 Cotton Grower Acreage Survey suggests cotton farmers could reduce cotton plantings by more than 10 percent this year.

Planting

2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide Available Online

December 16, 2014

The 2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide is now available online.

Planting

2014 Mississippi Small Plot Trial Data Now Available

December 15, 2014

Data from the 2014 Mississippi Small Plot Cotton Official Variety Trial is now available through Mississippi State University.

Planting

AgriLife Extension’s On-Farm Cotton Variety Trial Data Available

November 26, 2014

The annual Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation trial results for the South, East and Central Regions of Texas are now available from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Cotton Production

USDA Says Cotton Planting Nearly Complete, Early Crop in Good Shape

June 9, 2014

According to the June 8 USDA cotton crop reports, 89 percent of this year's crop has now been planted, and the early crop is off to a solid start.

Cotton Production

Setting New Yield Limits

June 4, 2014

A harvesting trip to Texas changed the way Tommy Butner thought about yields on his own Tennessee farm.

Cotton Production

Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

June 2, 2014

The June 1 USDA Crop Progress report shows that Southwestern states made substantial progress in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to much-needed moisture.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

Based on the May 18 USDA Crop Progress report, overall cotton planting stayed on track with the five-year average for this date, with 46 percent of the U.S. now in the ground. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Cotton Production

Planting Surge Puts 2014 Cotton Acres Near Five-Year Average

May 12, 2014

According to the May 11 USDA Crop Progress Report, 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now in the ground. That’s a 15 percent jump in planting in the past week, and only four percentage points below the five-year average for this date.

Cotton Production

USDA Reports Pockets of Progress in 2014 Cotton Planting

May 5, 2014

According to the May 5 USDA Crop Progress Report, planting of the 2014 cotton crop continues to track last year’s start, witih 16 percent of this year’s crop now planted

Cotton Production

New Webcast, Search Tool Added to Focus on Cotton Website

April 30, 2014

A new webcast focusing on cotton nutrition and a one-stop search tool that targets Extension cotton information from 17 states have been added to the Focus on Cotton webpage.

Cotton Production

Cotton Following 2013 Planting Patterns for Most States

April 29, 2014

Based on the April 28 USDA Crop Progress Report, 13 percent of the nation’s cotton crop has been planted – exactly the same percentage in the ground one year ago.

Cotton Production

Five Keys to Higher Cotton Yields

April 24, 2014

As growers in the Southern Cotton Belt begin shifting their planting focus to cotton, they should consider five optimum pre- and early season opportunities to manage for top yields.

Cotton Production

New Questions Facing Thrips Management

April 10, 2014

Control options for thrips still work, but potential issues bear watching.